B.J. Bjornson writes that the intervention in Libya “remains the best-case scenario I can think of for a Western-style military intervention” despite it being “a hard, bloody slog that has left behind a fractured state struggling to put itself back together and resulting in knock-on effects that have yet to play out”. Then he goes on to explain why he sees “no way that an intervention into Syria will not cause far uglier consequences on every measure”.
On this, Iraq does provide a parallel worth considering. When one talks of the ”œred-lines” Assad has crossed that requires the international community to act, namely the level of death and destruction he has visited upon his own people, how do those acts compare in scale to the level of destruction the U.S. military visited upon the people of Iraq and in cities like Fallujah during their long occupation of that nation? You can’t argue from a moral high ground you don’t actually occupy.
Ultimately I don’t know what is going to happen in Syria, but given its strategic importance to numerous regional and international players, I suspect we’ll see enough meddling from the outside that the situation won’t be getting any better in the year to come than it has been during the one past. I can only hope the powers that be prove either intelligent or self-interested enough to keep the meddling from blossoming into overt intervention, since that will be the worst of all possible results for the people of Syria.
Worth a read.